Monday, November 12, 2012

Feeling Hope Caravan: Mothers Searching for their Children on the Migrant Route

Posted By on Mon, Nov 12, 2012 at 9:36 AM

Waging Nonviolence's Marta Molina shared another one of her beautiful stories with us. The Mexico City-based reporter wrote about mothers from Central America who recently organized the Freeing Hope caravan that traveled from Oct. 15-Nov. 3 through El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico.

As a border community, it's a story we are already familiar with: family gone missing along the migrant route trying to reach the United States. Once here, we know that crossing through our desert is also a dangerous proposition.

I recommend you read Molina's story in its entirely here.

Here's a snippet:

The caravan of mothers stopped many shelters that work to give refuge to migrants. They are situated along the railways called “The Beast,” on which the trains that migrants jump on in order to cross the country travel. Eugenio Marcelino Juarez Gómez, Narcicia Socorro Gómez’s son, might have ridden one of those trains 10 years ago, when he left Nicaragua. She hasn’t heard from him since.

“We have been going from shelter to shelter and we see the young men who are traveling, and I see my son in them. I think that my son passed through these same places. Knowing how the route is, it makes me feel heavy-hearted and very sad,” said Narcicia. When we ask her what she says to these young men she replies energetically: “I tell them to go back to their homes. But they insist on going, they don’t listen… They say ‘No, but we want the American Dream everyone else wants too.’”

“Now is the moment in which the Central American mothers should unite with the Mexican mothers,” María Herrera said. She is Mexican, and has four disappeared children. She became an organizer with the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity (MPJD) when the poet Javier Sicilia came through the Michoacán Stadium during the “Caravan of Consolation” on June 6, 2011. She climbed up on a platform before the Cathedral of Morelia and said that she was “a humble person, not educated to speak [before an audience], but that the pain and helplessness force me to speak.” Like the 38 Central American mothers who made up the “Freeing Hope” caravan, María is a mother with colossal strength who turned her pain into action and has grown in her capacity as an MPJD organizer. “We joined their pain and strength to fight. We admire them,” she said. “For us, there is no respite in this search for our children. We are moved by a pain that only we can understand. Today we say ‘you are not alone.’”

During the caravan, there were six reunions of mothers and their sons. They inspired more mothers to keep doing the work that their governments aren’t doing. In addition to looking for clues that would lead them to their sons, the caravan made the dangers and human rights violations that migrants face while crossing through Mexico more visible.

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